Nio gives details of battery changing stations in Europe

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Nio gives details of battery changing stations in Europe-gives

The Chinese e-car start-up Nio wants to sell its vehicles in Germany in just over a year. Nio’s Stromer already exist in Norway. The Chinese have their battery exchange stations with them, as Vice President Hui Zhang, Nio’s European boss, confirmed in an interview. He also revealed a few other interesting things about the strategy of the up-and-coming electric car manufacturer.

Zhang describes his employer as a “wake-up call for the German auto industry” that shouldn’t be underestimated: “We’re here – and maybe we could overtake you at some point,” he says confidently. Electromobility opens up new opportunities in the automotive industry. “Fewer components are required than with the combustion engine, which makes it easier to get started”. An even bigger factor is digitization, which means that customers “now have different demands on car manufacturers,” says Zhang: “They want to be reachable in the car as naturally as they are in the office and at home. The development towards autonomous driving is also helping new providers to gain a place in the industry”, besides Nio Zhang names other companies such as Apple or the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. People are “more open today for new brands than before”.

The US company Tesla, which has made important pioneering work on the field of electromobility, was Nio in gratitude and respect. Volkswagen also highlights Zhang praising: “We welcome the contribution that VW does the dissemination of electromobility,” he says. Because “the more customers have ever bought an electric car, the easier the business will be in the market.”

“The times have changed”

NIO is aware that customers in Europe and China tuck different: Chinese customers, for example, are digital offers much more important, “they want to use, for example, social networks such as Wechat in the car” and are “open, functions of autonomous driving” to try “. According to Chinese customers, Nios Europachef also “greatly value on the design of the vehicle, inside and outside”. Europeans, on the other hand, “place particular importance on reliability”. It’s about the quality of the product, but also about the reliability of the brand: that the company will still be around in many years’ time when I need repairs and spare parts.”

It is now important for Nio to win “core customers” in order to be able to establish itself in Europe. “Maybe only 10.000 people” might be enough to reach the tipping point. “Nowadays, when they’re satisfied, they quickly share it with the whole world,” says Zhang. The manager does not think that Chinese products should be inferior. “Times have changed,” he says. Chinese smartphones, for example, are already established on the European market and allow “to get an idea of the quality of Chinese products”. Nio is “a premium brand with first-class partners worldwide. High-quality software and hardware convince our customers in China,” says Zhang. Nio e-cars are “significantly more expensive than a comparable Tesla” in their home country. But no less popular.

“Replacing the battery is even quicker than filling up”

Battery changing stations, (still) a unique selling point of Nio, are soon to be set up in Europe as well. “We are currently building the first station in Lier near Oslo,” says Zhang. Three more are to follow in the greater Oslo area by the end of the year. In China, Nio has already set up more than 500 exchange stations, and by the end of the year there should be 700. “Most are in cities and along popular highways,” Zhang explains. It costs the equivalent of 25 euros to swap an empty battery for a full one. However, according to the manager, most customers charge at home, and the exchange stations are therefore mainly used by people in cities “who do not have their own parking lot with a charging station at home”. Most customers who regularly change the battery do so on average “every two weeks, depending on how far they commute”.

The possibility of changing the battery within a few minutes is also attractive for longer distances. To this end, Nio has also set up exchange stations along important motorway routes in China. There are sometimes queues there at peak times, Zhang admits. “But the queues at the gas stations were longer than at our swap stations,” says the manager, and swapping the battery is “even quicker than filling up.”. In addition to Nio, according to Zhang, several other Chinese e-car manufacturers are working on exchangeable batteries, “including SAIC, the largest state-owned car manufacturer in China, and Geely, the largest private manufacturer”. And as a pioneer, Nio set a standard that the Chinese government has now adopted as a template for its regulations.

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5 thoughts on “Nio gives details of battery changing stations in Europe”

  1. I can imagine that this battery swapping is currently working in China. There are three conditions there.

    A government that has the power to rigorously enforce industrial standards.

    The still small proportion of BEVs, which are also mainly found in urban areas.

    The supremacy of battery manufacturers worldwide, practically all of which are at home in China. It is therefore possible to have many more batteries than there are BEVs on the road.

    Things are a bit different in Europe and America. I can hardly imagine that the local car manufacturers will agree on standardized batteries.

    There are already not enough batteries, let alone raw materials to stock up on batteries.

    There is a fourth point that Nio forgets. Batteries keep getting better. The range increases and the charging times become shorter. New batteries hardly age anymore. The loading infrastructure is getting better and more poet, so buyer without own charging option soon no more problems will have with the store.

    One argument after another goes down the drain. Here the Chinese are just as wrong as the western states, who thought they could simply spread democracy with a wooden hammer.

    As is so often the case here, pride comes before a fall. And the Chinese are without a doubt proud. Haughty and quite arrogant. To think that you can simply outperform a German car industry is highly arrogant.

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  2. The problem with Nio, in addition to the lack of acceptance, is above all that a battery change at 25 € does not cover the costs.

    The battery probably has 70 kWh and, with losses, an average of at least 60 kW will have to flow. In addition, with the wide spread across the country and the few cars, there will probably have to be two batteries per car. And the station and its staff must also be paid.

    The capacity utilization is difficult to calculate and is probably very low. Because even if you have customers, the stations will not fit every route and you will charge where you might have planned to take a break anyway.

    All of this is by far not mappable. In addition, you confuse the flaw of inferior quality with the good image of premium vehicles. Even if they can shed the former, which I believe, they still aren’t a premium brand. Because that only grows over time. About time in which you have to invest a lot.

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  3. Changing the battery is a very interesting unique selling point, regardless of whether Nio is targeting the mass market.

    I am convinced that Nio 10.000 satisfied customers will collect in no time and once the reputation is there, then they could become the second Tesla.

    It’s a shame that many Germans are so extremely inflexible in their heads when it comes to new ideas.

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  4. The battery exchange stations could also serve as a storage for load tips or lumen, which we will need without any doubt associated with the conversion to renewable energy. Then having a few more batteries in stock in order to be able to guarantee a smooth change will probably not be a problem.
    The exchange stations would thus stand on two legs in order to amortize themselves.

    The fact that we don’t have enough raw materials is a fairy tale, especially when you consider that progress is constantly being made in the development of rechargeable batteries with alternative raw materials.

    As always, it’s just a question of “want” not “can”.

    The government in China wants to stop and enforces it accordingly.
    Our government, probably the future new traffic light government, probably wanted before the choice and can now be prevalent from the FDP, which means in a coalition 100% of your election program to prevail on a course that has far less something to do with departure As with further so, the market it is already rules and incidentally will be more diligently distributed from bottom to top.

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  5. In addition to the arguments already mentioned, when replacing the battery there is a risk of getting a significantly worse battery and the like.a. with significantly more loading cycles. Another very important point. Whoever buys the products from China supports this government. I think we should focus on an economic area, e.g.B. USA/Europe/Japan and other democratic states focus and protect our values.

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